in the greater tokyo metropolitan area is about $320,000. so, um... and these are very small apartments, very small condominiums and very small houses. so, although the price is declining, it's still very difficult to afford them. it's estimated that the average worker in japan will pay about nine to 12 years of their salary right now to buy a house in tokyo. so it's... although it's getting better, it's still not a very good situation. and that's fueling, again, increasing growth in the suburbs is continuing. narrator: the area that includes tokyo, and the three neighboring prefecture kanagawa, chiba and saitama, is called the greater tokyo metropolitan area. approximately the size of metropolitan los angeles, it has about twice the populati density. it is the world's foremost megalopolis, a series of almost continuous metropolitan areas that exchange a flow of people. and it doesn't stop there.